Au Bon Vieux Temps

BA SCORE
89
very good

38 Ratings
Au Bon Vieux TempsAu Bon Vieux Temps
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar

Impasse Saint-Nicolas 4
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

+32 2 217 26 26 | map

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum

PLACE STATS
Score:
89
Ratings:
38
Reviews:
27
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
11.31%
 
 
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of MrDell
4.66/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Love this cosy little 17 century bar tucked away in the centre of Brussels. Beer menu has all the Belgian classics on it, including the much hyped Westvleteren 12. The Spanish lady that served us was extremely friendly and she took a bit of a shine to my girlfriend (both speak Spanish and had the same shoes on!) we visited most days whilst in Brussels for 5 days. If you like Trappist beer and old friendly little places with a lot of atmosphere this is a must visit. The only reason I scored the service as 4.5 and not 5 is because the beers are served a little on the cold side. Only other thing I'd change is its location - closer to me so I can spend more time there!

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Photo of crossovert
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Alone in Belguim ( I highly do not reccomend this, so much crime on the streets) I wandered into the bar next to it because my friends said they got Westy there. Of course i get in there but they don't so the lady said go next door to Au Bon Vieux Temps, they have it. So dickishly i straight up left. Then i got to Au Bon Vieux Temps and was nicely greeted by the female bartender. I immediately asked for the westy and she warned me of the price but I got it anyways at 10 euros. The place is old school inside, just a kick-ass old school pub. no smoking anymore anywhere in Brussels. I met some cool Flemish people and had a great time sipping on my Westy. This is the way I would have wanted to try this beer, among good company. I didn't even bother to critique the Westy, It was good, one of my 3 favorite beers, enough said. The real amazing part about this place is that the bartender let me buy 2 more bottles to go. With sincerity I really recommend this place, it is a must. No bar wtih this much character and charm should be forgotten.

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Photo of AdamNowek
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Taillon75
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Good luck finding it! Cool joint.

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

This is a great bar. So secluded from all the busy traffic and the dumb tourists a few steps away. You really need to know where it is if you want to find it. Located in an old alleyway dating from the middle ages. This is one of the last real Flemish bars in Brussels. Nowadays almost all the bars and shops and inhabitants of Brussels are French speaking. This is why I love this bar so much. The people behind the bar just speak Dutch! The decorations are not as old as the bar but old enough to give it that ancient cachet. They don’t really have that much beers, but every visitor has his own reasons for coming here. The tourists thinking they are smarter than the ones outside because they found this one. The Flemish because they get served in Dutch. And the romantics because the decorations are authentic and not glued on to attract tourists. Anyway, great bar and to al the BA’s visiting Brussels, you might meet me there some day.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat!

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Photo of Brewdogger
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is a hole in the wall, but a hidden gem a for those who are not regulars. This beer bar is right off the street from the craziness of Grand'Place and a perfect way to get away from the tourists and those looking for the Chocolate shop. The beer menu is not big, but you can go for the standard Chimay or Duvel or go for one of their specialties. I can't give away the secret, you have to go see it yourself. It is a great place to have a few after work or a place to take your tourist friends. Laissez les bons temps rouler, c'est incroyable!

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Photo of RCane1
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is a MUST. It's down an alley and looks like nothing from outside. The brick over the door says "1689" and the experience probably hasn't changed much since then. Inside is a very cool tavern with maybe a dozen or so tables. A great relaxing stop to enjoy a pint. Somehow, this place has a connection to Saint Sixtus Abbey and can keep Westvleteren on their menu! For those that don't know, the Westy monks don't produce for profit and only sell their excess - so it's a rare find! The visitors were a mixed bunch, as everywhere in Brussels, but all quietly enjoying a chat and a brew. I did the same with a Westvleteren 12. The friendly bartender poured it from a plain brown bottle (that's how it comes) and matter of factly flipped me the cap so I could see the Abbey logo. It's now a prized possession, as is the memory of this great bar.

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Photo of Labtested
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

Came here in June 2009
Great place with a superb atmosphere. As other reviewers have noted its a local joint with very few tourist as its a hard place to find.
The list is small but has enough of the good beers to please. We had a thoroughly wonderful afternoon with the owner and some locals discussing the merits of various beers from around the world. If you love beer and are a bit of a purist when it comes to them you'll love this place as its all about the beer. There is not much to eat so I'd recommend eating elsewhere then coming here to enjoy the afternoon.

We drank at many bars in Belgium and this was one of our favourite places. Mostly because of the staff and the wonderful surroundings.

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Photo of LoRezDave
4.34/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I was fortunate enough to travel through Brussels a couple times a back in 2004/5. I found my way to this tavern on a recommendation from someone at my hotel.

The atmosphere is above average because of it's lack of tourists and plenty of available seating. After a discussion with the manager behind the bar I found out the building was originally a Nunnery in the 1600's but has been a working bar since the 1800's!

Selection's on the beer list are good. Not a fat book, but a good selection of Belgian's nonetheless.

Service was off-the-charts and here's why...

This is a place for locals. On a return trip to Au Bon I recognized one of the guys at the bar from my last trip - who is a spot-on Sammy Davis Jr. The middle-aged woman behind the bar didn't know much English, but when you try your French (as my wife did) she opens up. My wife and I were just returning from Italy so we knew a few phrases, and my Italian cigarettes prompted the bar-woman to tell us her husband, who had just joined us at the bar, was Italian. What resulted was a fantastic discussion about beer and travel all via broken Italian, French, a small smattering of English, and some Flemish translations for Sammy. We were instantly "locals" and the bar-woman began plying us with different beers from behind the bar that they were eager for us to try and discuss!

Very fond memories of a great Brussles locals-bar.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I felt that most places in Brussels were far too packed and far too touristy. The old world charm that could be witnessed in other Belgian cities just wasn't there in Brussels...Until we entered Au Bon Vieux Temps.

This place will not dazzle you with the beer selection. It does have solid, well-priced offerings but you will find no hundred-page menu here. I enjoyed a couple of Rochefort 8's during my stay.

What you will find is a magnificent old bar with some the most charming atmosphere in Belgium. When you turn off the main road and traverse the ornate arches in the alleyway, it is like passing through time. From the ancient, stained glass windows to the aged wooden beams, this bar is a page out of history. Words cannot describe the old world charm of this bar. Best yet, we were the only tourists in the place. We chatted with the older, local crowd and had a wonderful experience.

Unless you are really into the throngs of tourists and hustle and bustle of Brussels, this is a MUST stop.

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Photo of srletend
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Awesome atmosphere.

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Photo of djhowell
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

A cozy, quiet, old bar that is stumbling distance from A l'Imaige Nostre Dame. Ornately carved wood everywhere, beautiful stained glass windows, warm lighting; this places has atmosphere in spades. The crowd was a little older the two times we stopped in, and seemed local & friendly. They have a couple dozen beers available (including Westvleteren 12 for, I believe, 12 euro) with a good variety of traditional styles.

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Photo of jandadeboer
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.22/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

This is a small bar tucked away in an alley, with barely a recognizable sign, but in the heart of Brussels near la Grand Place.

No taps; all good bottles of good Belgian beer: Diekirch, Stella Aux Dieux Temps, Lindemanns, Leffe, Duval, Chimay, Karmeliet, Westy 12. 25 bottles only and nothing rare, but it is worth visiting just for the atmosphere and the décor of this medieval bar.

The gruff-but-nice bartender pours your beer with such finesse! I’ve never seen a more perfect head in a beer.

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Photo of erica
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Went here twice last week with my boyfriend. It's a beautiful OLD place, with a nice little sign directing you through a little alleyway. If I didnt knwo it was a bar back there, I wouldn't venture in... but luckily I did, because the atmosphere was just amazing. Old detailed woodwork, stained glass windows that looked like from a church, old upholstered furniture, old people even. The selection was kind of general, but excellent compared to what i'm used to here in the US. The bartender was a nice old lady who I dont think spoke much, if any, English, but it didn't matter, we ordered and said our thank you's and all was well. Good service, yes. Good beer, yes. Great ambience, yes. Highly recommended for any trip to Brussels.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Go for the vibe, and the 12 € Westvleteren if you've never had it. I doubt much has changed in the place since the mid 1800s. Beautiful interior with lots of carved wood and stained glass. Tiny, space for about 30 people. Small but respectable bottle list and some taps. Service is standard for the city.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Visited on a Tuesday afternoon in April 2017 after spending the morning at Cantillon. The place was empty except for the bartender and three other people. It goes without saying that I visited during a slow time.

This place looked and felt like what I imagine as a classic Belgium beer bar. With the old man sitting next to me singing along with the radio, I could envision myself in another era. Come for the Westy and the Vibe.

V –You have to walk down an ally way. A great approach to a small place with about 15 tables. Dark décor but bright enough lighting. Loved the décor, including the stained glass, the fireplace (with an insert), great hardwood unfinished bar, lots of beer signs. The paint scheme with tile and wood make the place feel more homey than beer bar. 4.75

Sel – Nothing on tap. About 15 bottles limited to Belgian beers and Trappists including Westy 12. I had two Westys – that beer was so good! The Westy was 15 EU. 4.0

Ser – Fine service. Bartender spoke limited English and I speak no Flemish and less French than the Bartender spoke English. But she was pleasant and when I communicated that I needed to charge my phone she was more than happy to find a plug. We had a good laugh when she accidently charged me 1,5 EU for my Westy. Not sure to what degree she had any beer knowledge, assuming very little. 3.75

Q – No complaints. The bar uses labeled glasses most of the time. 4

FOOD – NA

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Photo of BenBreeg
4/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of cmrillo
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ZinFanDave
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of francisweizen
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

A nice little hidden gem of an old bar, in downtown Brussels. This place is down an old alleyway with just a neon sign and no mention of it even being a bar. Inside is dimly lit, with old timber everywhere you look. The crowd is usually old, Belgian, and local. The bartender we had was an old lady, who was nice enough at figuring out what we wanted (lol). I had a Vieux Temp (voo tom) whilst here as it seemed nice enough, and my friend had the excellent Bourgogne Des Flanders. A nice little place.

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Photo of FRANKtheMACHINE
3.98/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5

Just got back from brussels last night. While this wasn't my favorite place (check port noir on a night with music) we did get some cool local info from a pensioner who is a friend of a friend. The stained glass to the right of the bar is huge and depicts Saint Michael slaying satan who is in the image of a dragon. On his left is a female saint - Saint Gudula. Apparently the locals insisted she be sainted back in the day. Church by same name is also nearby. As others have mentioned Westvleteren is available for 12euro. Other choices may be better but if you've never tried it you can at this bar. Happy hunting.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Visited: 8-18-08

Follow the Impasse St. Nicholas past the Kasteel, Dickirch, and Duvel neon lights to the Corsendonk sign. Then go a little further and you will find a hidden treat of Brussels' beer scene. This place is a real tavern complete with drunken old men locals, debating philosophers and footballers, and stained glass windows. The beer list is small but excellent and features Westy 12. I ordered 2 but found one of the bottles that came a bit suspicious. One had the yellow cap I have had several times before and came in a Westmalle bottle. The other came in a Trappist bottle and featured a cap that looked to be a bad forgery of a Westy cap. I ran into this sort of thing a few times so if anyone has any insight into this please BM me. At anyrate, the beers were excellent. The service was fine and came from a cool old woman. The atmosphere top notch. Seek it out and don't miss out on the equally weird bar next door.

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Photo of JohnW
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

In full agreement with other reports here in BA, this is an amazing little bar, that is well worth a visit, especially if you are on a days visit, and centred near Grande Place, as only a couple minutes walk away. Very small inside, but wonderful atmosphere of calm from the hubbub of the outside. Friendly courteous service, though the beer list not as big as some more famous haunts, still always something worth trying. Not sure about food there, I think beer is the main thing - but worth the visit anyhow.

Incidently the 'beer museum' in the Grande Place is a place to avoid! Expensive entrance fee, not much to see when you get there, and the beer sample just a standard mass produced lager beer served by someone with no interest in the place at all!

John W visited Sept 2004

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Au Bon Vieux Temps in Brussels, Belgium
3.98 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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